Aug 26

Damaka Xync client mobile client for Lync review; Pro’s and Con’s

Damaka has released a multi-platform mobile client that allows to connect to Microsoft Lync without any new backend requirements…

I’ve downloaded the iPad client from the iTunes AppStore. This is something that is nice for small businesses, but with a large multinational… You probably do not want your end-users to buy the Xync client themselves. The deployment model is great, payment methods is something that might be improved….

The client itself… If Lync your environment is connected to the Internet and is using automatic configuration, you can just sign in using your SIP address (most of the time identical to your mail address), domain logon name and your password. This results in you being able to logon and shows your contact list including groups etc.:

So far so good, creating a Lync call between two users is pretty intuitive as well. Just press and hold your finger on the name, or click on the icon on the right. A menu pops up and you able to create a call.

When you receive or in a call, the screenshots below are shown…

Presence

So it is pretty clear what kind of call it is. Audio or Video… The downside is that the presence state within Lync is not correct yet… Example… In the Audio Call (left picture), you can see that my state was changed to “Do Not Disturb”, while in Lync, my presence states: “In a Call”. My presence on the iPad is not reflected within Lync… I was still “Available” while I was in the Audio Call… But hey… it is Release Candidate #2.

Audio/Video quality

Next to the presence state ‘bug’, I have some thoughts on the Audio and Video quality. I was in a Call with a colleague and he was mentioning that there was quite some ‘echo’ during the call. I wasn’t using any type of headset, so that is a recommendation from my side… Use it with a proper headset…

Regarding the Video … they’ve done a great job that you can use both camera’s in the iPad. You can ‘flip’ the camera while in the peer 2 peer call. As the iPad is a very handsome and carryall device… Video calling while moving the device isn’t providing the best user experience… Put the iPad in a stand (Portrait mode) before you start the call.

Conferencing
So as peer 2 peer calls are pretty nice and easy to setup, I wanted to invite other people and have an Audio and/or Video conference… Well… from the iPad, there is no way to invite other people in a conference (yet?). And doing it from the Lync client, I got the screenshot below… I haven’t done any “Snooper” traces, but the invite never makes in to the iPad…

UPDATE: Next to this, a bigger issue is that if the user is logged on to Xync and to his Lync client on e.g. his laptop, he will not be invited to any Conferences, including Audio/Video… Very large bug in my homble upinion.

Stability
From time to time, the client was killed without any message… starting the client again was just fine, but stability might require some attention.

Conclusion
It client looks pretty promising. Let’s see what Microsoft comes up with because it can’t be that long before they will be made available…

Very large con is that once you are logged on to your Xync client, the Multi Point of Presence principle is broken… Any invite to conferences will fail.

Pros:

  • Deployment method using AppStore is great, very intuitive;
  • Intuitive interface to place and receive Audio/Video calls;
  • No Lync backend change requirements.

Cons:

  • Billing process of the client is a challenge for (large) companies;
  • Presence state requires still some work;
  • Conferencing isn’t working (yet);
  • There is no support statement from Microsoft;
  • Conferencing breaks if a user is logged on to his Xync client and his Lync client.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.reijling.nl/?p=684

3 comments

  1. Hi Jeroen,

    This is a clear review of Xync, thanks for pointing it out on our Linkedin group.

    I am wondering if your purchase of Xync includes some kind of subscription or upgrade right when a new version is released. Any idea?

    Best Regards,

    Earl

    • Jeroen on 06/09/2011 at 17:37
      Author

    Hi Earl,

    Good question!
    All programs that I’ve bought sofar included updates…. Like Angry Birds… ;-)
    However, I haven’t heard any update from Damaka or other blogs…

    I’ve asked Damaka to contact me…. till now I haven’t heard anything…

    • George on 14/09/2011 at 01:14

    hello Jeroen,

    The issue you are reporting with conferencing has been addressed in the latest builds which support audio conferencing, we were not handling invites properly (eating them, esentially). be happy to work with you on a do-over of your testing. please ping me directly and we’ll provide you with a set of clients.

    To Earl’s question: updates are free, once you purchased the client from App Store or Android Market, the updates should automatically install, please advise whether you are experiencing difficulties.

    For enterprise deployments, small version updates are free, large version updates are free under software assurance

    Thanks//George

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